When nothing else can be done, an extraction can prevent complications.
A tooth extraction is a dental procedure in which a tooth is removed from its socket in the jaw bone. Tooth extractions may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including severe decay or infection, overcrowding, periodontal disease, trauma, or preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The process of a tooth extraction begins with the application of a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. In some cases, a general anesthetic may be used to put the patient to sleep. The dentist or oral surgeon will then use special instruments to loosen the tooth from the socket and gently remove it. In some cases, the tooth may need to be sectioned or broken into pieces to facilitate removal. Some offices, including Sandy Dental, prefer to fill the empty socket with bone grafting and/or a collagen membrane. Both these items integrate into the bone or gum, aid the healing process, and can help prevent dry socket, which can be a painful side-effect of extractions when the empty socket is left to heal on its own.
After the tooth has been extracted, a gauze pad will be placed over the area to help control bleeding. Patients may experience some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs. The dentist may also prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help prevent infection and promote healing.
After a tooth extraction, it is important to follow the dentist's instructions for proper aftercare, including avoiding certain foods, activities, and rinsing the mouth with salt water. Over time, the site of the extraction will heal, although some patients may need additional dental treatments, such as a dental implant or bridge, to replace the missing tooth and restore function to the mouth.